World Health Education Initiative



First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

Frequently Asked Questions Part Four
Q.  How can you claim that our healthcare system is in complete shambles?  My doctor is wonderful.  He spends lots of time with me.  I couldn't ask for more.

A.  Granted, there are thousands of extremely dedicated doctors and healthcare workers.  But this doesn't change the fact that there are millions of people who do not receive adequate healthcare, and countless diseases that cannot be diagnosed and treated.

Q.  I'm a doctor.  Even though I have never used calculus
or organic chemistry to diagnose an illness or treat a patient, I'm not sure the process of learning was a waste of time.  Who is to say that that process did not make me a better student who was better able to digest the almost impossible volume of information presented to me in medical school?
A.  It is a question of relevancy.  In the game of life, we have to keep our eye on the ball.  We have to stop using denial.  One of the problems I face is that so many people will defend their educational experience with the same illogic as a cult member will defend theirs.  With many people, their educational background is intimately connected with their self worth.   A criticism of their education is taken as a personal attack.  This is a deep-seated emotional issue which in many people will override logic.  This is very complex and cannot be answered fully in a paragraph.   Please follow the links to get a more complete picture.

Q.  I disagree with your suggestion that medical students would offer a valuable service to practicing physicians.  Medical students (and junior-level residents) invariably slow-down experienced doctors due to their inefficiency.  I am a full-time academic physician who enjoys teaching, but sees firsthand how well-meaning but inexperienced students and residents will decrease your ability to see patients efficiently.

A.  Many doctors pay good money to hire medical assistants.  The function of the assistant in this proposal is to take patient histories, and record them in the chart. While he is doing this, the doctor is doing other things. The student is primarily learning from the patient, not the doctor.  When the doctor sees the patient, he has the advantage of a detailed history that he would never have time to take himself. Keep in mind that this is
voluntary.  If the doctor doesn't wish to participate, he doesn't have to.

Q.  But aren't students already getting adequate patient interaction? Most medical schools begin patient/student interactions late in the first year or early in the second year.  They are already spending time interacting with patients, although not several hours a day (until the third and fourth year).

A.  The student has had eight years of mostly irrelevant institutional learning before he even gets to medical school.  Furthermore, the patient interaction in the first two years of medical school is usually very minimal.

Q.  Community physicians will need some type of compensation due to diminished ability to see patients efficiently under your model.

A.  Most of the teaching physicians in medical schools, internships, residencies and teaching clinics are volunteering their time free of charge. Furthermore, they are willing to commute a great distance do this.  Doesn't it make more sense to have this take place in the doctor’s office, where no commuting is necessary, and a more intimate relationship can be established?

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